MoCA Westport is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Helmut Lang, curated by Todd von Ammon, on view to the public beginning on Sunday March 15th and continuing through August 16th, 2020. The exhibition will span both galleries of the museum and consist of two separate projects, demonstrating the continued evolution of Lang’s contributions to culture and art.
The first gallery will host a self-contained exhibition of all-white wall-reliefs and sculptures. These wall-mounted planes, pillars and spikes are embedded within a practice defined by ruin, accretion and preservation of materials which typically takes on the charred and blackened complexions of decay. The planes—whose pale tones allude to bones and ashes—hang abutted to one another like altarpiece panels, and the mounds and spikes resemble an abstracted reliquary. This mise-en-scene is a striking corollary to the brunt of Lang’s exhibitions to date.
The second gallery will contain a site-specific configuration of sixty-three of Lang’s celebrated “pillar” sculptures. which share a common medium: a multitude of shredded and crushed objects and materials suspended in pigmented resin. This loamy, fibrous sculptural composite material consists of Lang’s destroyed design archive. Leaving a previous career behind, the artist staged an intentional cataclysm and has been making new work from its wreckage ever since. The lean, crusted pillars arranged in a loose grid stand freely in seeming precarity, with small gaps between one another through which the viewer may travel. This second installation, while aggressively economical in its content, provides an immersion into Lang’s ocean of material language.
Lang’s work is a disavowal of the illusion of time as periodic, tidy and rational. The sculptures on view portray history as entropic and digestive, a suggestion that the truest character of forms is their tendency to dissolve and transform through time.
Born in Vienna 1956, Helmut Lang lives and works in New York and on Long Island. Lang walked away from a groundbreaking career in fashion to pursue his original true calling as an artist. Hailed for the rigorous and direct ethos of his forms and choice of materials, he has been met with similar acclaim for his art since leaving the fashion world for good. Since 2005, Lang has permanently turned away from creations in direct context with the human body, and has since turned his focus exclusively to two- and three-dimensional artworks which subtly allude to notions of the figure using different media such as sculpture, wall pieces, installations and videos, predominantly built from found and readily available materials. In his former occupation, he left an everlasting imprint on contemporary culture and how it is communicated, by redefining fashion codes and the modus operandi. His undeniable influence continues to reverberate to the present day. He simultaneously produced his own artwork while collaborating and exhibiting with different artists, most notably with Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer, which has broken collateral ground in the recent resurgence of collaborations between fashion and art.
Select past solo exhibitions have been held at Sperone Westwater, New York; von ammon co., Washington, DC; Sammlung Friedrichshof, Vienna; Stadtraum, Vienna; Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover; Deste Foundation, Athens; Dallas Contemporary, Dallas; and The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn.
This will be MoCA Westport’s second exhibition since opening in September 2019. In advance of Opening Day on March 15th, the museum’s Inaugural Gala will take place on March 7th, offering a VIP Preview to this groundbreaking exhibition. The gala, a full evening with dinner and dancing, will also honor award winning architect Howard Lathrop for his vision and commitment to the opening of MoCA Westport’s new space at 19 Newtown Turnpike.
His work, spanning decades and building types, has included the design and restoration of major metropolitan museums, affording MoCA Westport an unparalleled expert in the field. Tickets to the gala are available at mocawestport.org with limited availability. Post gala, various events will also be held at the museum celebrating this profoundly cultural and compelling exhibition. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.222.7070.